County Responds to DA Retaliation Claim

Santa Clara County responds to a claim of retaliation against a District Attorney's Office employee who was demoted and relocated after speaking out against DA Rosen's free time off policy.

By Jenna Susko and Julie Putnam
|  Wednesday, Jul 24, 2013  |  Updated 4:58 PM PDT
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County Responds to DA Retaliation Claim

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There’s not enough evidence.

That’s Santa Clara County’s response to the grievance filed by the Government Attorneys' Association. The union accused the District Attorney’s Office of retaliation after demoting and re-assigning an employee who spoke out against DA Jeff Rosen’s policy of giving out free time off; the Investigative Unit first exposed the issue in April.

Last month, lead attorney Jim Sibley lost his supervisory role and was relocated from the county’s main office in San Jose to Palo Alto after requesting he not get free time off and denouncing the policy. Sibley is a 20-year veteran of the DA’s office and served as a lead attorney in the Narcotics Unit. He resides in Scotts Valley in Santa Cruz County. 

To view that report, click here

This afternoon, the county responded to the grievance, saying the union did not meet the burden of proof to show that the removal of Sibley’s supervisory title and transfer to the Palo Alto office was “unlawful discrimination.” It denied the union’s request to relocate Sibley back to San Jose.

The county also said the hardship brought upon Sibley was unknown to the DA but that  “The Labor Relations Office strongly urges the District Attorney’s Office consider favorably a request by Mr. Sibley to be transferred back to the San Jose location.”

To view the complete county response, click here

GAA President Max Zarzana told NBC Bay Area "We are extremely disappointed that the county did not immediately reverse the retaliatory demotion and transfer of Mr. Sibley, but this was a required first step before we could pursue arbitration or any other legal remedy."

"The GAA Board, including Mr Sibley, is reviewing all available legal options," Zarzana said.

Do you have a tip for the Investigative Unit?

email us: TheUnit@nbcbayarea.com

tweet us: @jennasusko @putnamproducer

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